Talk:Primacy of the Bishop of Rome

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"After the edict of Milan, the church at Rome was protected and grew in importance"[edit]

OK, here's another sentence for which there is a citation request.

After the Edict of Milan granted Christianity legal status, the church at Rome was protected and rose in importance.

It's true that the church of Rome was protected after the Edict of Milan, but so was all the Church, not just at Rome. Did the church of Rome rise in importance? Relative to what it was before the Edict of Milan, yes. But relative to the other two ancient sees of Antioch and Alexandria? I'm not so sure. Or, if Rome became more important relative to Antioch and Alexandria, I suspect it was because both Rome and Constantinople rose by dint of the fact that they were sees in imperial capitals. In any event, the see of Constantinople would soon be rising in importance, perhaps not to eclipse Rome but at least to challenge it. None of these nuances are reflected in this sentence. How should we fix this? --Pseudo-Richard (talk) 02:55, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Another kudos to you for your comments. I am going to look up the edict to see if and how Rome is mentioned —Montalban (talk) 04:18, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
The edict of Milan section offers no evidence for papal primacy. The bequest of churches doesn't suggest to me that the pope rules supreme —Montalban (talk) 10:04, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
Yeh, I agree that the bequests do not mean that "the pope rules supreme". The point of the section is to explain how the bishop of Rome grew in power after the Edict of Milan. The bishop of Constantinople grew in importance after Constantine moved the capital there and successive emperors gave the bishop of that see more power.
I think the point here is that the bishops of the major cities were given more power by secular authorities which helped them to assert their primacy. After all, this is how Constantinople came to have primacy "second only to Rome". Yes, it was done in the First Council of Constantinople but the motivation was political rather than theological. Rome asserted its primacy on the basis of scripture and tradition. Constantinople has no scriptural basis (and therefore had to challenge Rome's claim to a scriptural basis or, at least, the nature and limitations of that claim). Both cities are acknowledged as having primacy over the other three sees of Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem. —Pseudo-Richard (talk) 17:50, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
It is a fact, even if a perhaps unfortunate one, that wealth is power. Constantine richly endowed the Church of Rome (as also that of Constantinople). This was an element in the historical growth of the power of the Bishop of Rome. If Montalban wants to omit the information about these donations (by the still very much alive Constantine, and so not a bequest!), I will regret the consequent incompleteness but will not resist his action.
Of course, primacy does not mean, in the full sense, that "the Pope rules supreme". Christians are under no vow of obedience to the Pope, as religious are to their superiors. If he says "Jump", many may quite rightly decide to sit down instead. —Esoglou (talk) 20:17, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Papal authority vs. Papal primacy[edit]

I think the problem we're having is that we have no clear, mutally agreed definition of "papal primacy". Montalban's polemical "Orthodox objections" section includes two arguments:

  1. the early ecumenical councils did not require the pope to convene them, be present at them (even via representation through papal legates) or to approve them. One actually went so far as to declare two popes to be heretics.
  2. parts of the Church, both East and West, have ignored papal directives.

We're not arguing about whether these are "facts" or not, we are arguing about whether or not they are related to "papal primacy" or to "papal authority". However, we keep talking past each other because we don't have that clear, mutually agreed definition of what these terms mean.

I confess that I myself don't have definitions to offer but I think we need to work towards one or we will be still debating this as the second Romney administration comes to a close.

It seems to me that we need to back up and look at church polity first. Looking across all of Christianity, the first question is whether power rests with the congregation or with the ecclesial hierarchy. Radical fundamentalist Protestants insist that power rests with the congregation alone. Others such as Methodists and Lutherans recognize an ecclesial hierarchy with power residing with bishops and synods.

Catholics and Orthodox vest significant power in the bishop. What is not agreed is what authority one bishop has over another. The Orthodox recognize some authority of a patriarch over other bishops although I admit a personal ignorance to the extent of that authority. How much independence of authority does an Orthodox bishop have over his see? What does it take to depose a bishop?

In this context, "papal authority" in the Catholic Church could be contrasted to the authority of a Patriarch over the sees of his patriarchate. How much authority does the Pope have over his "patriarchate" (the Roman Catholic Church) compared to the authority of a Patriarch over his patriarchate? (NB: this discussion is somewhat off-topic though tangential to the topic of this article).

The next question is whether one patriarch has primacy over the others. It's clear that Rome and Constantinople have primacy over the other patriarchates but what is in dispute is what that primacy means. Both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches recognize an ecclesial hierarchy above that of the position of bishop but the RCC has a more hierarchical model than the Orthodox. This difference informs the understanding of the primacy of the Pope.

I confess that I don't know what power the Pope has to compel a Roman Catholic bishop to resign. My understanding is that he can ask a bishop to resign an administrative position (i.e. the episcopate of the archdiocese of Boston) but it is unclear to me whether the Pope can actually defrock and remove the individual's position as a bishop. Is episcopacy a function of being in charge of a see or is it more like being a priest which goes with the person regardless of what their actual responsibilities are at the moment?

It seems to me that the two questions of the authority of the Pope over the ecclesial discipline of an individual see and his authority to depose bishops are relevant to the Orthodox Church's willingness or refusal to submit to his authority. We should also comment that, while the Pope has ultimate authority over all Roman Catholic bishops, much of this is delegated to national conferences (not councils!) of bishops such as the USCCB.

We should move on to consider a separate question from the relationship of a patriarch to an individual bishop or group of bishops within that patriarchate. We should now consider the relationship of the Pope to ecumenical councils. The Roman Catholic Church has branded conciliarism as heretical. I suspect that the Orthodox Church would view conciliarism more in line with its view of how the Church should be governed. Many of the examples presented by Montalban seem conciliar in nature to me (i.e. the power of an ecumenical council to ignore, overrule and even depose a bishop, even a patriarch). The Roman Catholic Church, of course, rejects such a notion but I think it would help to present this issue in this way rather just than the presentation of facts that Montalban has composed. If I understand the Orthodox model correctly, I believe that it is acceptable for local councils within a patriarchate to call the patriarch to task for unorthodox views or even to depose the patriarch (? - I'm not so clear about whether this is true). These points should be presented to the reader to clarify the distinction between the Roman Catholic model and the Orthodox model. (NB: I recognize that some of these issues are covered or should be covered in Eastern Orthodox – Roman Catholic ecclesiastical differences. However, I think we need to consider this article in the context of that article and decide how much to talk about in this article vs. in that article.)

Instead of presenting a lot of trees to the reader, we should show him a picture of the forest and then show him some of the trees in that forest. Too much of this article focuses on providing facts as "arguments against papal primacy" and, in the process, fails to provide the reader with a conceptual overview of the key issues and approaches. This can be addressed by working on transforming Laurel Lodged's outline to emphasize these issues. I would critique Laurel's outline as focusing on the "facts" rather than on the conceptual issues. Thus, for example, the topic is not "Arguments from Church Councils" but rather the "Relative authority of an ecumenical council and patriarchs". —Pseudo-Richard (talk) 17:23, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Regrettably no definition seems possible of the extent of the prerogatives involved in primacy. EOC and RCC representatives meeting in Ravenna in 2007 agreed that "at least until the ninth century, a series of prerogatives was recognised, always in the context of conciliarity, according to the conditions of the times, for the protos (Greek for "first" or "primate") or kephale (Greek for "head") at each of the established ecclesiastical levels: locally, for the bishop as protos of his diocese with regard to his presbyters and people; regionally, for the protos of each metropolis with regard to the bishops of his province, and for the protos of each of the five patriarchates, with regard to the metropolitans of each circumscription; and universally, for the bishop of Rome as protos among the patriarchs. This distinction of levels does not diminish the sacramental equality of every bishop or the catholicity of each local Church" (paragraph 44 of the Ravenna document). The document also says: "While the fact of primacy at the universal level is accepted by both East and West, there are differences of understanding with regard to the manner in which it is to be exercised, and also with regard to its scriptural and theological foundations" (paragraph 43). This Wikipedia article, on the contrary, seems rather to deny that East and West accept the fact of primacy at the universal level. More than two thirds of the article presents what it calls objections to papal primacy, suggesting that there never has been any such thing as papal primacy or at least that there never should have been such a thing (this, it seems, is indeed the belief of one editor of the article), instead of pacifically expounding the different understandings of the manner in which papal primacy (accepted as factual, whatever may have been the reasons for it) is to be exercised and the different understandigs of the basis for this factual papal primacy. As a result only a minor part is devoted to the account of the different historical forms, not all of them necessarily just, that the factual papal primacy has taken. An editor who rejects the notion that papal primacy ever existed naturally classifies any objective information about the historical fact of these different forms as arguing for papal primacy - as we have abundantly seen.
Esoglou (talk) 20:15, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Pseudo-Richard this seems to be another case of waiting for edits to be made before you find a problem. The incidents which are questionable were introduced by your colleague in the section
Other disregard of papal directives by Westerners
By waiting for the muddying of the waters with this section which isn't in any context about papal supremacy you now can address a problem that wasn't there before it was introduced!
Like when you called for me to reference something I'd done, but your colleague, in a re-edit had removed the reference. I don't know why the two of you are inventing problems to address.
If you wanted clarification on something I had written, I believe I have been responsive.
Montalban (talk) 02:48, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
@Montalban: I put a fair amount of thought into writing my lengthy comment above. I may not be as knowledgeable as some of the other editors of Catholic and Orthodox articles but I would like to think that I am granted the occasional insight into the issues we are grappling with. I would hope that you would consider what I wrote more seriously than to dismiss it as "inventing a problem to address.
Pseudo-Richard (talk) 05:36, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
Well when one of you removes evidence then the other demands I present it, then you've invented a problem
If you wish to resume working out a formula that would be great but if you want to re-edit the Toledo section, ask for cites you've already accepted and change it till its so large and irrelevant that you then have cause to remove it, let me know... either way
Montalban (talk) 09:49, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
I have been looking at the Google Books preview of Michael J. Walsh's "Roman Catholicism: the basics". In particular, the intro to the chapter on "People" provides some interesting insights along the lines of my own comments above. This is a link to the beginning of the chapter. This is a link to the section on "Papal Primacy". I like Walsh's approach because, although he writes from the Catholic POV, he provides a frank and honest discussion of the issues rather than providing the standard misconceptions about Catholic doctrine that both Catholics and non-Catholics share. IMO, it's worth a read.
Pseudo-Richard (talk) 05:36, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
The problem is adding a section on disregarding papal directives is misleading the reader. It's to trivialise those who disobey the pope. You know this yourself Pseudo-Richard because it then allowed you cause to question whether people are talking about supremacy or authority - it's another of your invented problems - create a case of uncertainty and then raise that here for discussion - suggesting that certain parties are talking past each other
That small section should in fact be removed. IF you yourself are now saying it's not addressing supremacy! You can't have this both ways.
Montalban (talk) 09:58, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
Richard, ever since the First Council of Nicaea, ecclesiastical primacy (priority) has been linked with authority (exousia). Eastern Orthodox John Meyendorff, referring to the super-metropolitan primacy of sees like Alexandria with regard to all sees, whether metropolitan or non-metropolitan, in their area, and to which Nicaea applied the term power (exousia), wrote: "As a general rule, this latter form of primacy was defined in Nicaea as priority, and history shows clearly enough the nature of that priority: one can describe it as primacy of authority" (The Primacy of Peter), pp. 61-62. Meyendorff applies the same phrase to the Church of Rome: "The Roman Church was able to unite the various elements which fully justified its primacy of authority"; "... made its primacy of authority unquestioned in the Christian world" (Orthodoxy and Catholicity, pp. 58 and 65).
Esoglou (talk) 15:04, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

John J. Paris[edit]

An editor keeps removing the mention of John J. Paris. Would he please explain what objection is he proposing to the well-sourced statement about this disregard of papal authority, a disregard clearly more evident, direct and explicit than the alleged "disregard of papal authority" by the Third Council of Toledo: "In 2005 the Roman Catholic Jesuit Professor John J. Paris disregarded a papal directive on euthanasia as lacking authority." —Esoglou (talk) 08:42, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

No one has argued anything about euthanasia. No one has argued that when the Pope says "Jump" people ask "How high"
Perhaps you should ask some friends or your teacher about straw-man, because it's obvious to me that what I've said hasn't explained it well enough for you
Montalban (talk) 09:51, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
Father Paris did argue about euthanasia. He disregarded a papal directive about it. Why do you talk about what is not in the article? The word "jump" is not in the article. Nor is "how high". Father Paris's action was a clear disregard of papal authority. On what grounds do you say it may not be mentioned? —Esoglou (talk) 10:14, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
This article was used to support the claim that:

In 2005 the Roman Catholic Jesuit Professor John J. Paris disregarded a papal directive on euthanasia as lacking authority.

According to the article, Paris argued that food and water "are burdensome interventions" and while Schiavo "is quite alive," but still "she has no obligation to medical interventions if they prove disproportionately burdensome."
Pope John Paul II’s 2004 address "On life-sustaining treatments and the vegetative state" was just that – an address. It was not "papal directive on euthanasia". "Death by starvation or dehydration is," according to John Paul II, "in fact, the only possible outcome as a result of their withdrawal. In this sense it ends up becoming, if done knowingly and willingly, true and proper euthanasia by omission." John Paul II wrote that the 'vegetative state' has "complex scientific, ethical, social and pastoral implications of such a condition require in-depth reflections and a fruitful interdisciplinary dialogue."
Paris "dismissed the late Holy Father's statements as pandering to 'radical right-to-lifers'." Paris also stated the obvious, that John Paul II's address is "not an authoritative teaching statement", and he thought "the best thing to do is ignore it, and it will go away." I think, in Paris' words, "the best thing to do is ignore" and remove it. An address is neither a "papal directive on euthanasia" nor a "authoritative teaching statement" and simply has nothing to do with the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 01:13, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was:Yes check.svg Done(Non-admin closure)That's me! Have doubt? Track me! 15:44, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Primacy of the Roman pontiffPrimacy of the Bishop of RomePrimacy of the Bishop of Rome is what the lead sentence says the article is about, it avoids issues with the history and number of Roman pontiffs and it avoids issues with capitalization of "pontiff" Jojalozzo 20:23, 6 December 2011 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • Support. The word "pontiff" has several meanings and is not an everyday word. "Bishop of Rome" is more immediately intelligible. Esoglou (talk) 21:21, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Support -- Perhaps Primacy of the See of Rome might be even better. Pontiff is derived from Pontifex maximus, the chief priest of pagan ancient Rome. I would dispute the accuracy of the lead: neitehr the Eastern Orthodox church, not the Anglican Church acknowledge the primacy: the Thirty Nine Articles explicitly deny his authority over the Church of England. Peterkingiron (talk) 18:47, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Support There may have been a time when the Bishop of Rome was not the Roman pontiff. Laurel Lodged (talk) 21:46, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Support More comprehesible to the general reader. PatGallacher (talk) 18:54, 10 December 2011 (UTC)


Any additional comments:
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Opposition... sections[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The 'Primacy of the Bishop of Rome' is badly written. The article spends most of the time giving opposition arguments, Wikipedia isn't supposed to be an theological argument website.

Here are a few of the problems:

'Opposition arguments from Scripture' It should be removed and its arguments used in other sections with in the article. Many points mentioned are Protestant arguments against Papal primacy and should be stated as so. For example, the bullet 'The granting of the Keys of the Kingdom is not to Peter alone; it is the whole Church, that binds and looses sins.' is written as a fact when it is actually a common argument used by Protestants. Its would be better to rephrase it to ' Protestants argue that in Matthew 16:18, the keys were not only given to Peter, but to the whole church'

Opposition arguments from early church history & Opposition arguments from Church Councils Also should be removed and merged with other sections. Many of these arguments are used by the Orthodox church and therefore doesn't need to be restated. Again, some points are written as facts without any explanation, example 'Rome is an Apostolic throne, not the Apostolic throne.' (I do not even understand that argument!)

Opposition arguments from orthodox doctrine This section seems to be well written, but it is takes up a large proportion of the article. I think its best to move it to a article on Orthodox beliefs, and just summarize the points here.

Suggestions I suggest to make one section 'Opposition Arguments against Papal Primacy' and divide it into two sub-sections 1. Arguments by the Protestant Church 2. Arguments by the Orthodox Church. Each should contain a summary of the key points and argument — Preceding unsigned comment added by DesertRose 00 (talkcontribs) 12:52, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

I agree with you. Would you consider undertaking at least part of the work of revising? —Esoglou (talk) 15:14, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
I also agree with Desert Rose's criticism. BTW, the argument about Rome not being the Apostolic throne is arguing that there were twelve original apostles and thus Rome is only the apostolic throne of Peter. Papal Primacy is based in part on the doctrine of the Primacy of Simon Peter, a primacy that the Orthodox argue is not as powerful as the Catholics assert. —Pseudo-Richard (talk) 17:08, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
I have created Eastern Orthodox opposition to the doctrine of Papal Primacy by copying the entire section "Opposition arguments from orthodox doctrine". It will likely have to be expanded with text from other sections of this article but it is, at least, a start. —Pseudo-Richard (talk) 17:18, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Esoglou, I shall help with the revision, though it would have to wait until this weekend when I will have the time to read through everything that is currently present. Just be warned that I'm not great at writing... but I guess we have to begin somewhere ;)
Pseudo-Richard, Thanks for both the explanation and the new article! —DesertRose 00 (talk) 21:47, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
It is now permissible to delete the entire body of text copied by Pseudo-Richard to the new article from this article. A simple "main" re-direct is sufficient and results in no loss of knowledge. —Laurel Lodged (talk) 00:22, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
It would be better to include in this article a summary of the contents of Eastern Orthodox opposition to the doctrine of Papal Primacy than to simply link to that article. —Pseudo-Richard (talk) 08:35, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
I have started making the modifications. I agree with Pseudo-Richard that its best to summarize first before we delete any content. I have written something for the Protestant View. I am ignoring anything that does not have any citations. Its best to start with a good section on the opposition arguments and then add more later on.
Please make any corrections and modifications needed. —DesertRose 00 (talk) 12:17, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
I have written something for the Protestant and Orthodox view under 'Opposition to the doctrine'. Please add, correct, modify as needed. —DesertRose 00 (talk) 20:02, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Could we delete everything from 'Opposition arguments from Scripture' onwards?.
I noticed while writing that the arguments are the exact same as the arguments under 'Primacy of Simon Peter'... —DesertRose 00 (talk) 20:08, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
In spite of the above declarations of intentions, nothing has been done in over half a year about the situation in which two thirds (!) of the article are spent on "giving opposition arguments, (while) Wikipedia isn't supposed to be a theological argument website". If those two thirds are not reduced, perhaps the solution is to devote equal space to arguments in favour and so remove the onesided pov character of the article. The proportion devoted to the opposition arguments would thus be reduced to two fifths, with a balancing two fifths for the positive arguments, and with the historical account of how the practice of primacy actually developed (whether justifiably or not) taking up the remaining fifth. —Esoglou (talk) 19:20, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes. Obduracy has moved me to radical action. I've moved whole sections to Eastern Orthodox opposition to the doctrine of Papal Primacy leaving a skeleton behind. —Laurel Lodged (talk) 20:49, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Congratulations. —Esoglou (talk) 06:52, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Laurel Lodged has graciously begun the process of returning the article to a Catholic POV which Esoglou has been hoping for for six months. Esoglou says that Wiki isn't about a 'theological argument website' this is one of the most disingenuous statements he has made. So long as the article presents a POV, then according to Esoglou it meets the criteria.
It was Laurel Lodged who said to me about a year ago that she wanted to see here Orthodox argument against papal supremacy. With most of that argument now removed from the article it will only be another six months before it's removed altogether - as it's not part of 'Orthodox opposition' and therefore Esoglou can edit it as he's not banned from editing non-Orthodox items
Congratulations all! —Montalban (talk) 02:48, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────These remarks, so revealing of the writer's attitude, need no outside comment. —Esoglou (talk) 14:55, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

I appreciate the irony, twice. The "What's the point in commenting" comment. And that particular comment coming from Esoglou
My own POV is widely known.
Wiki is not a Catholics apologetics web-site. I appreciate that Esoglou believes the veracity of the Catholic cause but that's never the issue. What is is the right of others to note that other viewpoints exist. —Montalban (talk) 00:40, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Montalban is quite right - I have supported the inclusion of opposition arguments in this article, particularly from an Orthodox perspective. And quite a body of material has been gathered that meets that objective. However, from a readability viewpoint, the article had become cumbersome to the point of unuseability. I have repeatedly requested Montalban to recognise this fact and to take measures to address it that would retain the arguments while improving the reading experience. It is for that reason that I have refrained from comment in this article for a long time now in the hope that a "holy peace" would bear fruit; in this hope I have been disappointed. With the creation of the other article, the imperative to have all the material in this particular article became less obvious. Given Montalban's obduracy, I finally lent my support to a radical solution - the wholesale transport of sections to that other article. I'm prepared to see the ongoing presence of the core of the Orthodox argument in this article on the understanding that most of the heavy lifting should continue to be done by the "See main" in the other article. This assumes that other editors will not litter the remaining skeleton arguments with "references" or "says who" flag requests. A more reasonable, less absolutist position by Montalban might have moved me to less radical surgery. By the way, we are not female. —Laurel Lodged (talk) 09:04, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Well said and well done. —Esoglou (talk) 09:13, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
I also agree with Laurel and I have also supported the inclusion of opposition arguments in this article. The objective of this article should not be to establish nor to refute the Catholic doctrine. NPOV requires that we present the doctrine and the arguments used to support it as well as the arguments used to refute it. What is not required is an extensive and detailed rebuttal which overweights the article towards the negative POV and makes the article unreadable. It is not our intent to exile the rebuttal arguments to another article. If you refer to my comment above, I suggested that we should summarize the objections rather than simply link to the other article. The reason that I created the "Opposition" article is that I did not want to delete all the detailed material even though the level of detail was excessive for this article. —Pseudo-Richard (talk) 22:29, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
The end result however is that you have the Catholic case in this article and that is pleasing to Esoglou. I disagree that it made the article unreadable. It just happens to be that there was a lot of points to make in opposition. —Montalban (talk) 01:42, 7 August 2012 (UTC)----
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Please translate from Latin[edit]

The following is a very important bit. Please translate it from Latin:

Council of Reims (1049)

The 3 October 1054 the Council has a dogmatic declaration about the primacy of the Roman Pontiff as Successor of Peter:

"declaratum est quod solus Romanae sedis pontifex universalis Ecclesiae Primas esset et Apostolicus" —James K. Workman (talk) 14:18, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

A literal translation is "it was declared that only the bishop/pontiff of the see of Rome is the primate of the universal Church and apostolic". Why "apostolic"? Because the council deposed the Archbishop of Santiago, who had assumed the title of "apostolic" (see Schaff, History of the Christian Church: The Hildebrandian Popes, chapter 1, footnote 10). —Esoglou (talk) 16:47, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Thank you Esoglou for the translation. I hope you don't mind that I put it in the article. My ignorance about how to jump from one wiki page to the other without losing the work prevented me from giving you credit by name. Also thank you for the explanation of the addition of "apostolic." — Preceding unsigned comment added by James K. Workman (talkcontribs) 02:46, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your kind thought, but in Wikipedia terms I do not qualify as a reliable source to quote in an article. —Esoglou (talk) 06:47, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

What a mess[edit]

From looking at this articles history and reading some diffs, I see why the article is so jumbled and not just about a primacy of jurisdiction in an economy of salvation. It looks like should be harmonized with some related articles (maybe primacy of Simon Peter and historical development of the doctrine of papal primacy which was a split from this article).

The Primacy of the Bishop of Rome#Opposition to the doctrine section is just an unreferenced list that does not differentiate how the Churches changed between the Apostolic Age, the pre-ecumenical Ante-Nicene Period, the First Council of Nicaea convened by Constantine I, the First Council of Constantinople canon 3, the Council of Chalcedon canon 28, and all the various ecumenical councils that some groups reject. It seems to ignore how jurisdiction was influenced by a civil understanding after it became the State church of the Roman Empire (which was the Catholic Church until the East–West Schism); or how diocese were organized along the lines of territory of civil Roman diocese; Justinian I's imposition of a five patriarchal see Pentarchy structure; 7th century Muslim conquests of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem; 10th century (post schism) autocephalous Bulgarian Patriarchate, etc., created/recognized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

The article's history page probably contains a treasure trove of good content to mine. The existing references need to be checked and improved. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 17:16, 26 May 2015 (UTC)[edit]

I believe is WP:SELFPUBLISHed. But does it represent the Anglican Province of America since the post is by one of its bishops? –BoBoMisiu (talk) 19:37, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Euclidpress is self published[edit]

I believe Euclidpress is WP:SELFPUBLISHed. See which is found on Wikipedia:List of companies engaged in the self-publishing business. I marked the content this edit with {{Self-published inline}} and references with {{Self-published source}}.

I marked the other articles where this work, His broken body, is found with {{Self-published source}}: Apostolic succession, Christianity in the 3rd century, Christianity in the 5th century, Clerical celibacy, East–West Schism, Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodox teaching regarding the Filioque, Exsurge Domine, Filioque, History of Eastern Orthodox Christian theology, History of the East–West Schism, History of the Filioque controversy, Mass of Paul VI, Original sin, Papal infallibility, Primacy of Simon Peter, Primacy of the Bishop of Rome, Quartodecimanism. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 19:38, 26 May 2015 (UTC) modified 23:58, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Augustine's Tractate 124[edit]

Augustine's Tractate 124 (about John 21:19-25) is not quoted in Guettée. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 19:40, 26 May 2015 (UTC)[edit]

I believe is WP:SELFPUBLISHed and I can't find even a name or information about who writes it. The blog is the source of a translated quote used in the article. I replaced the {{Citation needed}} with a reference to the blog, {{Self-published source}}, and {{tertiary}}. I think the quote needs a reliable translation since the Russian is from the Interfax news agency. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 21:39, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Here is some English language news reports from the Russian Orthodox Church about the subject:
A better set of choices may be:
BoBoMisiu (talk) 00:40, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Petitions as a source[edit]

I changed a citation that pointed to a reprint of a petition on to point to the source petition circulated on While I don't doubt that the petition, which contains many citations, represents‍‍ '​‍s and the other signatories "reservations concerning this beatification", I don't think it is about the Primacy of the Bishop of Rome but about "reducing beatification and even canonization to the level of a token of popular esteem bestowed upon a beloved figure in the Church".

The site is a microsite of "Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research" ( / That organization also operates,,,, Donations for that site are made to "Housetop Care Ltd" in Rickmansworth, England ( I think the content is just agenda driven advocacy whose source is abstracted through several layers of virtual organizations. Blogs describe this petition "issue same tedious demands they have been issuing since 1968" and commenters, outside of what looks to me like a walled garden of blogs, say, for example, that "the named theologians are those that could be described as the usual suspects" and in contrast that "notable feature ... is the stature and impressive credentials of the signatories". Is Catholic Scholars' Declaration on Authority in the Church any different WP:ABOUTSELF than other online petitions of advocacy groups? —BoBoMisiu (talk) 17:30, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Metropolitans prior to 325[edit]

From reading De Lucia, Pierluigi (2010). The Petrine ministry at the time of the first four ecumenical councils: relations between the Bishop of Rome and the Eastern Bishops as revealed in the canons, process, and reception of the councils (STL). Chestnut Hill, MA: Boston College. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 

Among such councils the synod of Rome had a unique place, meeting under the guidance of the bishop of Rome, who was the single metropolitan of Italia suburbicaria (central and southern Italy, Sicily, Sardinia). That synod dealt not only with questions of the bishops of this territory, but intentionally discussed and made decisions that were regarded as binding for other churches outside its own metropolitan sphere.(De Lucia p. 6)

The office of metropolitan was not created at the First Council of Nicaea. De Lucia discusses canon 6 promulgated by that council on pages 21 26. He also discusses L'Huillier there. That council was "a foundation to arrangements of ecclesiastical administration and jurisdiction" (De Lucia p. 22). And it is "the canon to which Ratzinger refers when he states: 'The word primates appears for the first time related with the function of the Roman See at the Council of Nicaea in canon 6' " (De Lucia p. 24). "In regard to the authority of the canons," De Lucia explains, "there are differences in scholarly opinion about their intended authority and their effectiveness" (De Lucia p. 25). —BoBoMisiu (talk) 17:33, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Leaked Crete draft of working document[edit]

This 2011 edit added content about a 2008 unofficial draft text on "The Role of the Bishop of Rome in the Communion of the Church in the First Millennium" topic prepared by the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church was leaked in 2010. Have the quotes and other content, cited from the leaked unofficial draft, been updated in later sessions? Is the content outmoded? —BoBoMisiu (talk) 14:30, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Apostolicus at 1049 Council of Reims[edit]

Nuvola apps edu languages.png Relevant discussion at Talk:Council of Reims#Apostolicus

This 2010 edit added content about the Latin quote "quod solus Romanae sedis pontifex universalis ecclesiae primas esset et Apostolicus". A discussion about translating this Latin quote is found above at #Please translate from Latin. See discussion at Talk:Council of Reims for interpretation in English language sources. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 14:52, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

The keys sources[edit]

This 2011 content based looks like it is based on primary religious source:

Orthodox accept that Peter had a certain primacy in the Bible. He is first to be given the keys Matthew 16:18. However it is implied that the other Apostles also received the keys. Matthew 18:18

This interpretation is accepted by many Church Fathers

was edited into on 2011-08-28

Orthodox Christians accept that Peter had a certain primacy'. In the New Testament, he is first to be given the keys Matthew 16:18. However other texts may be interpreted to imply that the other Apostles also received the keys Matthew 18:18. Such an interpretation, it is claimed, has been accepted by many Church Fathers.

The shift was from "it is implied" into "other texts may be interpreted to imply" and did not add any secondary source. A book source was added on 2011-10-08 and a URL was added on 2011-10-08.

Problems with this citation are that the URL does not mention the book and the URL looks like WP:SELFPUB. The book publishers site shows the book has a chapter titled "The Papacy and the 'Rock' of Matthew 16", but that title is not identical to "The Church Fathers' interpretation of the Rock of Matthew 16:18" which is the web page title. There is no Google Book preview to verify the book content. The web page has a good range of long quotes with reasonable citations but also does not correctly describe the authors of its cited sources, for example, Ignaz von Döllinger "taught Church history as a Roman Catholic for 47 years in the 19th century and was one of the greatest and most influential historians in the Church of his day. He sums up the Eastern and Western understanding of Matthew 16 in the patristic period"; but no mention that he was excommunicated by the Catholic Church for heresy. I improved both citations in the existing <ref> until someone is able to see what the book includes. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 17:13, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Sculpting the term catholic[edit]

This edit changed "the original meaning of catholic" into "the original meaning of the word catholic- καθολικισμός, katholikismos, 'according to the whole' ". καθολικισμός is not translated into catholic. καθολικός is probably a better term – but the ancient Greek term doesn't add anything because the modern usage of term catholic, regardless of which language is used, has more than one definition sense (e.g. see Arguments in the article about the term catholic are sculpting meaning instead of describing how the term catholic is historically used by various groups. I think some etymological fallacy might be in the article. Examples, in my opinion, of this kind of sculpting are: "Contrary to popular opinion, the word catholic does not mean 'universal'; it means 'whole, complete, lacking nothing' " and "the original meaning of the word catholic- καθολικισμός, katholikismos, 'according to the whole' ". The article maybe should have a short section about the relevant historical and modern senses of the term catholic to explain the terms usage by different groups and link to History of the term "Catholic" and Roman Catholic (term). —BoBoMisiu (talk) 22:52, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Restoring definition section[edit]

According to Talk:Primacy of the Bishop of Rome/Archive 2#Definition??, the article gave "no definition of its subject matter" in 2010. I added a new "Primacy of the Bishop of Rome#Dogma within Latin and Eastern Catholic Churches" section to define what the "subject matter" within the Latin Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches is. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 19:56, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Sentence about Tertullian Poitiers Chrysostom Augustine is synthesis[edit]

Primacy of the Bishop of Rome § Opposition to the doctrine (this revision):

However, in Matthew 16:18 the keys were given not only to Peter but to all the Apostles equally. Such an interpretation, it is claimed,[107] has been accepted by many Church Fathers; Tertullian,[h] Hilary of Poitiers,[i] John Chrysostom,[j] Augustine.[111][k][113][114][l]

the quotes were added in 2011 as part of, what looks to me like, a small WP:QUOTEFARM – without attributing who synthesized that "this interpretation is accepted by many Church Fathers" about these quotes. The Webster citation was added later in 2011.

This synthesis seem to be contradicted in several public domain sources that I skimmed. For example this entire chapter which concludes with a list that synthesized each of these four as "concurrent testimony of [...] prelates and doctors from the East and the West from every quarter of Christendom at the time all establishing the historical fact of the primacy of Peter and his successors and the Catholic belief therein existing in those early ages."

I think Webster is mis-cited. Based on the above attributable links, I think the sentence and quotes should be removed. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 20:27, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

I have not had the time to be thorough and review Webster fully, but a deep scan reveals that he quotes not only the early fathers, but a series of modern-day scholars, some of whom arrive at their own syntheses about the early fathers' position on primacy. Webster's own conclusion seems to match those syntheses, not diverging into some private theory. The synthesis does not match the RC doctrine, and says in what ways it differs. I think the problem is that this source is currently misrepresented in the article, another inexact and somewhat off-target rewording by some editor. I think some proper sentence belongs here, as do the sources, but some sort of editing is required. Evensteven (talk) 05:03, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
@Evensteven: the page number ("pp43ff") cited from Webster was deleted. Adding the citation to the phrase "it is claimed" turns it into a connector that doesn't cite the content on either side of that cited phrase: "it is claimed". The Church fathers wrote generally one way on the subject of primacy. But sometimes they changed over time about what they thought – a scholars synthesis will change depending on the selection of Church fathers and their quotes included in a synthesis.
Nevertheless, I should have made it clear that the synthesis is also using quotes added in 2011 about Matthew 18:18 and not Matthew 16:18 – the quotes of the Church fathers are not about primacy but about keys of Heaven. It is not the same concept. Keeping the sentence is misleading. The Webster citation, as you said, "is currently misrepresented in the article". —BoBoMisiu (talk) 14:03, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree that keeping the current sentence is misleading; it needs correction. But I think 'keys of Heaven' and 'primacy' are both related to the Orthodox opposition to the RC doctrine, which is what the section is about. There is also a lot of consideration of 'on this rock', which is where 'keys of Heaven' enter in. Is it not true that the doctrine (or its RC defense) argues that both of those indicate a primacy of the bishop of Rome over other bishops, a primacy that focusses governance of the Church into one person through the apostolic succession from Peter, to whom the keys were given? That's the base issue that the sentence (or any text supported by the source) needs to cover in a manner appropriate to what the source says. And that's why I think removal is not the proper response. Evensteven (talk) 16:47, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Ware cherry picked[edit]

Primacy of the Bishop of Rome § Orthodox_view (this revision):

The Orthodox church considers the Bishop of Rome to be the primus inter pares.

It cites Metropolitan Kallistos Ware's The Orthodox Church. Unfortunately, it includes incomplete evidence (fallacy) about what Ware wrote in his book. For example, he wrote:

The Orthodox Church does not accept the doctrine of Papal authority set forth in the decrees of the Vatican Council of 1870, and taught today in the Roman Catholic Church; but at the same time Orthodoxy does not deny to the Holy and Apostolic See of Rome a primacy of honor, together with the right (under certain conditions) to hear appeals from all parts of Christendom.

Ware also wrote a nuanced explanation about the papal universal role as the appeal court petitioned by bishops about judicial decisions of episcopal tribunals:

[...] Byzantines for their part were willing to allow appeals to Rome, but only under the specific conditions laid down in Canon III of the Council of Sardica (343). This Canon states that a bishop, if under sentence of condemnation, can appeal to Rome, and the Pope, if he sees cause, can order a retrial; this retrial, however, is not to be conducted by the Pope himself at Rome, but by the bishops of the provinces adjacent to that of the condemned bishop. Nicholas, so the Byzantines felt, in reversing the decisions of his legates and demanding a retrial at Rome itself, was going far beyond the terms of this Canon. They regarded his behavior as an unwarrantable and uncanonical interference in the affairs of another Patriarchate.

Looking through the concordance of Ware's Orthodox Church for primacy and for supremacy, shows, for example, that:

Thus far Rome and Orthodoxy agree — but where Rome thinks in terms of the supremacy and the universal jurisdiction of the Pope, Orthodoxy thinks in terms of the college of bishops and of the Ecumenical Council; where Rome stresses Papal infallibility, Orthodox stress the infallibility of the Church as a whole. Doubtless neither side is entirely fair to the other, but to Orthodox it often seems that Rome envisages the Church too much in terms of earthly power and organization, while to Roman Catholics it often seems that the more spiritual and mystical doctrine of the Church held by Orthodoxy is vague, incoherent, and incomplete. Orthodox would answer that they do not neglect the earthly organization of the Church, but have many strict and minute rules, as anyone who reads the Canons can quickly discover.

I would like to find an online English language copy of this to add citations to the actual canonical works. Ware wrote

Hitherto Orthodox theologians, in the heat of controversy, have too often been content simply to attack the Roman doctrine of the Papacy (as they understand it), without attempting to go deeper and to state in positive language what the true nature of Papal primacy is from the Orthodox viewpoint. If Orthodox were to think and speak more in constructive and less in negative and polemical terms, then the divergence between the two sides might no longer appear so absolute.

But this at least shows that the polemics in this article should be replaced with factual content. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 22:24, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

The last quote here is clearly an opinion that Ware aired, not an Orthodox position, and it's one that's been received in a variety of ways, some of them distinctly negative, some mild, some gentle, but it is rarely embraced fully. I think he sees value in real discussion, and would like for it to happen, implying it has not been entirely successful to date (at the time of writing). Not many people are really in a position to say if that last is so, certainly not me. I'm just not sure what value one bishop's opinion about this is going to be in the article. I favor real discussion also, all over the place, including between the leadership of the churches. But that doesn't really advance anyone's understanding about primacy itself. It's the discussions that might do something. Once held, we'd have something to include and report on. But if you're looking to use the canons as source, it will be tricky to handle. The rules may be written out, but it's the bishops who interpret them, as that is part of their duties in administration of the church, and canon law is notoriously Byzantine. We'll need secondary sources to make sense of them, and if they're not bishops, then it's a question how reliable their findings might be. Evensteven (talk) 04:35, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
@Evensteven: of course "canon law is notoriously Byzantine" and yet it is used today. The canons are more authoritative; the theologians are less authoritative. Bishops are each a teaching authority in Orthodoxy and his opinion matters. Ware is also a teaching authority and writes "to go deeper and to state in positive language what the true nature of Papal primacy is from the Orthodox viewpoint". This article and the Eastern Orthodox opposition to papal supremacy do not answer the basic question "in positive language what the true nature of Papal primacy is from the Orthodox viewpoint".
I assume for a start, there are commentaries added to the OrthodoxWiki:The Rudder; I assume there are also other English language commentaries. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 14:55, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
@BoBoMisiu: indeed those are good points. But the canons also require interpretation. For example, there are many canons set down by the First Council of Nicaea governing matters of church discipline, but not all are applied directly in practice today. Yet I believe that they are held to be part of Holy Tradition, and immutable. The teaching interpretation I have heard is that they are accepted as the governance of the time, not directly to be the governance of the present also; for while things pertaining to God do not change (which is most of what Holy Tradition is about), yet the Church lives on earth also and is subject to the countless changes, shifts, and reapplications to times and cultures and individual cases, a task for bishops. And finding a reliable interpretation for quoting in WP will be difficult, for the bishops tend not to draw up policies based on canon law, but simply rule upon individual cases, and even a ruling that is "current" may be based in part on the culture or condition of an individual, and who can weigh how a bishop came to a decision, and how it applies generally? The means for "authoritative" general interpretations are not available.
Also, I agree that this article and the other do not answer the basic question "in positive language what the true nature of Papal primacy is from the Orthodox viewpoint". And I agree that Ware's opinion matters, since he is a teaching authority, but I was trying to say that as a teaching authority he is telling us that no such deep Orthodox viewpoint has yet been formulated, and that current formulations have shortcomings. The article can relay that opinion, perhaps, but it cannot address a need to answer the question better. We can explore "what there is". I am only saying that "what there is" will probably prove to be more useful to the article than Ware's opinion itself. Evensteven (talk) 17:20, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
@Evensteven: yes, "canons also require interpretation" that is why I mentioned commentaries about the canons. I agree with your example:
  • "many canons set down by the First Council of Nicaea governing matters of church discipline"
  • "held to be part of Holy Tradition, and immutable"
  • "are accepted as the governance of the time"
  • "not all are applied directly in practice today"
It might be a good start of a contemporary Orthodox doctrine section about primacy or maybe a more general article like canon law with a link, maybe clarifying when and why the canons stopped being applied. Maybe there are sources for that related to economy or dispensation.
  • "finding a reliable interpretation for quoting in WP will be difficult, for the bishops tend not to draw up policies based on canon law, but simply rule upon individual cases"
I think you are describing two different related concepts, like you said "the Church [...] is subject to [...] changes, [...] a task for bishops":
  1. what the canons are – legislated (later amended or revoked through other canons)
  2. how those canons are applied – interpreted and executed
Particular cases do not matter, what the canons are should be included in the article, and possibly how those canons are applied. I added that kind of content into Primacy of the Bishop of Rome § Dogma within Latin and Eastern Catholic Churches.
  • "means for 'authoritative' general interpretations are not available"
Why? For example, The Rudder (1957) is available online (Archive copy at the Wayback Machine, a very large and slow download that is searchable) and I see it includes commentary. A Google search shows there are also newer commentaries and histories on Orthodox canon law published.
  • Ware "is telling us that no such deep Orthodox viewpoint has yet been formulated, and that current formulations have shortcomings"
I interpreted Ware the same way. Nevertheless, there are Orthodox "current formulations"
  • The article "cannot address a need to answer the question better"
Why not? Ware's book is a late 20th century reliable source that does address that facet of this subject. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 16:14, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
@BoBoMisiu: re point 1, "canons require interpretation": If we can find an RS that says when and why they stopped being applied, then we surely can include that. And it's quite possible that that would be viewed as economy or dispensation. Yet, given that the canons are immutable, they are still "on the books", and in principle there would be nothing to prevent the bishops from beginning to apply them again if they considered the circumstance to be proper. The canons do represent a standard, even if it is a standard from a different age, and even if not applied directly now, that standard can be used to weigh what might be proper now. So there is also the matter of influence of the canons upon the present day. Perhaps a commentary would shed some light on that also.
Evensteven 17:33, 19 June 2015 (UTC) — continues after insertion below
I agree about commentaries. (I used the {{interrupted}} to start splitting the developing themes, feel free to rearrange my comments) —BoBoMisiu (talk) 01:50, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Re point 2, "individual cases": You're correct in distinguishing the two things, and yes the individual cases do not matter to the article, which I think was my essential point too. I wouldn't object on principle to including the canons in the article, but if so, I think it will require supporting material so that the reader does not draw the wrong conclusions about application. That will begin to develop into a small treatise on canon law, so care will need to be taken also that this related topic does not unbalance the article.
Evensteven 17:33, 19 June 2015 (UTC) — continues after insertion below
What kind of "supporting material so that the reader does not draw the wrong conclusions about application"? Readers will draw their own conclusions about the choice of economy over canons. I think honesty is better than propaganda. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 01:50, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Propaganda? I don't think it's propaganda to help the reader understand how the canons are applied in practice. What's dishonest about that? And if they can understand that, perhaps they will also realize that they're just not in a position to draw conclusions about "economy over canons". That's simply not how it works. People can have all sorts of opinions, but why should anyone think that all his opinions count for anything? Evensteven (talk) 02:23, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Re point 3, "authoritative general interpretations": I suppose I'm mincing words a bit wrt "authoritative". Yes, there is general material on canon law, and one can call some of it "reliable" in the WP sense, but I would not call it "authoritative" unless it came from bishops, since they are the actual authority that applies the canons. I think this word "authoritative" is often misused in English when the intended meaning really is "reliable or "authentic" or "scholarly", or giving some such sense of solidity, confirmation, and dependability. Authoritative really means that the information or view comes directly from the point of origin, the one place that generates it.
Evensteven 17:33, 19 June 2015 (UTC) — continues after insertion below
Writing about 1000–1600 year span of history will naturally show development of doctrines. Now will be different than the past in some ways. You mean authoritative as WP:PRIMARY sources? I mean that The Rudder is authoritative and reliable – I think the synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate authorized it and Nicodemus the Hagiorite was one of the authors. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 01:50, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, some kinds of primary sources, or something like the Rudder; it needs to be generative. But a scholarly opinion is not really "authoritative" even when it's reliable, scrupulously researched, and solidly drawn; that's a derivative activity. But please don't think that I intend to diminish scholarship for that reason - it's just in a different category. Evensteven (talk) 02:23, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Re points 4 and 5, "current formulations": Indeed there are some. If Ware's opinion has any place in the article at all, it is to say precisely that "there they are" and "they could be better". Ware, however, is not capable all of himself to provide a better "Orthodox" formulation. At best, he could only formulate one from within Orthodoxy. The difference lies in how deep acceptance is within the Church as a whole, something we could not ascertain simply from his statement. But, at least in that source, I don't think he makes any such statement anyway. The observation that there could be better is all we seem to have here, and I regard that as fairly weak material for the article. Mostly, we'd do much better to stick with something official or based on a synod or a high-level meeting with the RC church. That would give much more weight as to Orthodoxy in full. Nevertheless, we use reliable "formulations from within Orthodoxy" all the time, and there is no rejecting them solely on that basis. Evensteven (talk) 17:33, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Ware's book is a standard introduction about Orthodoxy, from what I skimmed he is nor reformulating anything. I disagree that his book is weak, it is cited in Google Scholar 731 times. I think that content from the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church should be a good start. I don't see anything wrong with Orthodox sources. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 01:50, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Goodness! I don't understand how it is that we are misconnecting! I never intended to imply his book is weak! Fundamentally, it's straight-out Orthodox teaching designed as introduction. The one opinion we've been talking about is an exception to that rule, and it's weaker only because it's from one Orthodox teacher alone, rather than a synthesis of Orthodox teaching in general. Note: "weaker", not "weak". And I just don't see why you think I may see anything wrong about Orthodox sources, either. I've certainly made plenty of use of them (including Ware's book) in my own editing. I must not have been clear somehow, but I just don't see how to correct it. Evensteven (talk) 02:23, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Consensus to change from ref to sfn style citations[edit]


References will be changed from <ref> style to {{sfn}} templated style.
BoBoMisiu (talk) 22:44, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This article is complex, technical, but reads more like a debate than an encyclopedic article. I have been improving the references by combining in WP:NAMEDREFS and adding content. I think the article would benefit by changing from inline <ref> footnotes to the {{sfn}} style. According to WP:CITEVAR, this converting between systems should not be done without WP:Consensus.

Much of the available works about this subject contain references using standard abbreviations to standard reference works. I think this change will help the reader by:

  • providing the references in a familiar system with standard abbreviations in this field
  • bundling the citations for easier reading of the text
  • bundling the citations for easier understanding which sources are cross-cited in others, e.g. which primary sources are cited/quoted by which secondary sources. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 22:40, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support the current format is very unapproachable. Laurel Lodged (talk) 09:08, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Insofar as that change has been completed on Eastern Orthodox Church, the citations are in much better shape there because of he consistency of approach sfn applies. It also helps ensure the proper details are included in each citation, eliminating bare links. Evensteven (talk) 11:28, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
@Evensteven: I think Eastern Orthodox Church does read better. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 17:38, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

I created Talk:Primacy of the Bishop of Rome/10-June-2015-draft-ref-to-sfn for working out the change. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 20:57, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

Judging by the response, I think this is not controversial. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 22:44, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Change in lead[edit]

@BoBoMisiu:, I am unable to check the Schmemann reference on primacy that you give for some of the new text you just entered, so I can't tell just what the source says. However, the edit appears to me to have troubles. First, it implies that there is a divergence of opinion about primacy among Orthodox theologians that I don't believe exists. As far as I know, "first among equals" is the most common phrase used to describe a universally-held position. If Schmemann actually holds an alternate view, it would be most surprising. Of course, I cannot tell the context in which he is speaking of primacy in the source, but "authoritative power" is a phrase I have never heard in Orthodoxy; rather the opposite, it is the type of language that would be used to describe an RC view of bishops and their office. And being a nebulous phrase, I feel sure that even if Schmemann employs it in some way, the context must make clear what its limitations are. The question always is: authority over what?, power to do what? Orthodox teaching on authority in the church is quite clear on the point that there is but one authority, Christ Himself. Bishops are never free to act under their own authority, not even the authority of their office, as though their power were absolute or vested in them without regard to the whole Church or its Savior. They do have responsibility and power to administer the Church (a type of authority), for which they are accountable, and upon occasion some bishops have been deposed for misuse of it. Their authority over administration of the Church does not reach into authority over doctrine, Holy Tradition, and other matters of the faith, and even synod or council decisions are not final unless the Church accepts them, even ecumenical council decisions. Schmemann knows all that well, and whatever he says in the book, I'm sure it doesn't contradict those fundamentals. But the article text does, so there are troubles. Would you take another look, and see what might be done to reflect the source better? Evensteven (talk) 07:13, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

@Evensteven: thank you for looking over the article. Here is the diff from before I contributed. I am guessing this sentence is your specific contention:

Other Orthodox Christian theologians, however, view primacy as authoritative power: the expression, manifestation and realization in one bishop of the power of all the bishops and of the unity of the Church.

The reference for that was John Meyendorff (editor), The Primacy of Peter (St Vladimir's Seminary Press 1995 ISBN 978-0-88141-125-6), p. 165" and is now improved to attribute the actual author instead of the editor of that work.
Here is what I think about the following:
  • Schmemann reference on primacy.
Schmemann was first cited in this article in 2011. It is not a new citation but is more specific by specifying the authors who were compiled to Meyendorff's book – which was repeatedly cited throughout the history of this article. There is a review of Meyendorff's book in Harvard Ukrainian Studies that can be read on JSTOR for free. It is a reliable source published by an Orthodox seminary.
  • "However, the edit appears to me to have troubles".
What about the edit seems troubling?
  • "implies that there is a divergence of opinion about primacy among Orthodox theologians"
Yes, among Eastern Orthodox theologians, reading through the linked sources does show that divergence and a development of understanding.
  • " 'first among equals' is the most common phrase used to describe a universally-held position.
Yes, but that does not change the development of understanding during the last half century.
  • "If Schmemann actually holds an alternate view, it would be most surprising."
So, both "the type of language" is problematic and the opinions "have troubles"?
For background about Schmemann, here is a Russian bootleg transcription of Afanassieff who Schmemann quoted in the mid 20th century. It shows a development of understanding.
  • "if Schmemann employs it in some way, the context must make clear what its limitations are
You assume that Schmemann is taken out of context.
  • "The question always is: authority over what?, power to do what?"
Yes, that is what cited sources show.
  • "Orthodox teaching on authority in the church is quite clear on the point"
I only changed the citation style to make it readable and added little new content.
  • "Bishops are never free to act under their own authority, not even the authority of their office, as though their power were absolute or vested in them without regard to the whole Church or its Savior.
I am Catholic, but I believe that a bishop was "at least" until the 9th century, as the Ravenna Document (which is a "basis for future discussion of the question of primacy at the universal level in the Church") describes, the protos of presbyters and people within a diocese. I believe they still are considered that in both Eastern and Western Christianity. Only some details developed divergently over the last millenium. There are ample written sources that show a development.
I will not chastise Schmemann, who was a respected Eastern Orthodox theologian, for his understanding – anyone can add content that rebutts of Schmemann work (especially his wikipedia article). The Eastern Orthodox opposition to the doctrine of Papal Primacy article may be a better place to describe these theological differences that some Orthodox hold.
  • "Would you take another look, and see what might be done to reflect the source better"
Yes, but the references that I added links to allow anyone to verify the sources. Unfortunately Meyendorff's book does not provide a Google preview.
I think the article could be improved by harmonizing with several related articles by writing better summaries of those articles in this article. I see ample historical content that duplicates [Historical development of the doctrine of papal primacy]] but very little about the actual contemporary Orthodox doctrinal understanding. I would like to see both the authoritative Orthodox canons and the Church documents that state the Orthodox doctrine in either a "Further reading" section or integrated into a more encyclopedic "Doctrine of the Eastern Orthodox Churches" section. Harmonizing the various articles is the real problem.
I created Talk:Primacy of the Bishop of Rome/dumping-ground for some content I collected. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 16:01, 16 June 2015 (UTC) modified 17:04, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Many thanks for your thorough and thoughtful response, and the leads. I hope my ramble didn't produce misunderstandings: I've certainly not tried to criticize Schmemann, whom I respect highly. And yes, I agree that many of his views on other topics developed over time, so why not on this topic also? You seem to have touched on one touchy point that I must have had there subconsciously but didn't articulate, at least not recognizably. And that is that the bishop's relation to the clergy and people of his diocese might indeed be described in terms of primacy. I think the essential Orthodox / Catholic mismatch of views comes into play when we're speaking of the relations among bishops, something the article could do better to make clear. It'll take me a little time to pursue some of this, as I have hands full with other things also right now. Also trying to do some harmonizing in another set of articles. Thanks again. Evensteven (talk) 02:12, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Unreferenced content[edit]

Nuvola apps edu languages.png Relevant discussion at Talk:Eastern Orthodox opposition to papal supremacy#Unreferenced content

There is a lot of it in the article (this version), in my opinion.

Primacy of the Bishop of Rome § Opposition arguments from early church history was tagged in August 2013 as an {{Unreferenced}} section. Most of the section was added in 2011. It contains lots of speculation. I removed the unreferenced content. If anyone wants to argue about any of those unreferenced line item, please post here. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 03:49, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

In my opinion, there was nothing that stood out to me as Orthodox teaching, at least not as stated. I think some of it may have been editorially trimmed or shortened as one might do for an encyclopedia article, but without sources there is no telling how accurately phrased any of it was. This issue is notoriously technical, and simply must have authentic backing by reliable sources. I agree with the removals. Evensteven (talk) 06:02, 21 June 2015 (UTC)